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at the president and speaker of the house on spending cuts. jonathan carl has an exclusive first look. >> reporter: the president and the speaker, the talks were secret, and woodward said the stakes higher than anybody realize at the time. >> you talk about it essentially as 44 days that were the financial equivalent of the cuban missile crisis? >> so serious they couldn't tell the world how bad it was at the time. >> reporter: in "the price of politics," published on september 11, bob woodward gives a blow by blow account of the effort to reach a so-called grand bargain. spending cuts and tax increases to cut the deficit. the deal was tantalizingly close but broke down near the end when woodward says the president asked boehner to agree to more tax increases. for boehner, that was a deal breaker. he wasn't going to get a damn dime more out of me, boehner told woodward. at a critical juncture, boehner didn't bother to return the president's phone calls. when they finally connected, boehner tells woodward the furious president was spewing coals. the president acknowledged he was angry and told wood
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